The right travel rewards credit card can be the jetsetter's best friend. You typically rack up points faster than other cards. And while most people use credit cards because it's more convenient than cash or checks (swipe it, please), there are other benefits as well that you might not have known about. Until now...

We've uncovered five benefits to using your travel rewards credit card that you didn't know existed.

Potential Savings

Yup, your credit card (or rather, credit history) can help you save money. It might sound strange to hear that you can save money by spending money on a credit card, but it’s true.  The trick is using your credit card wisely and responsibly. You see, the better your credit history, the cheaper it is to borrow money. And a great way to build strong credit history is to use and pay off your credit cards every month. When you’re ready to buy your dream house or finance a hot rod, your strong credit history could save you thousands of dollars by securing a lower interest rate. Interest rates might not sound sexy. But do you know what is sexy? Money in your pocket.   


Added Security

Credit cards offer more protection against fraud and theft than cash or checks.  If someone uses your credit card without your authorization (like you would ever shop at The Gap), call your credit card company immediately to report it. Often times you aren’t responsible for the fraudulent charges. Phew!  


You can even sign up for fraud alert notices

Your credit card company will alert you about suspicious activity on your account via text, call or email notification. And unlike cash or checks, most credit cards now come with a variety of built-in security measures, like chip technology and photo identification, to help combat fraud usage. If you’ve been to Europe lately, your credit card is probably already equipped with chip technology.  It’s a requirement there and becoming more standard in the US.


Bells and Whistles

Say it together – we love free perks!!  While you’re jet setting around the world, your credit card can make the experience just a little (ok, a lot!) better. Some credit cards come with travel perks like free lounge access (hello wifi and wine), free checked luggage and discounts on inflight purchases. Certain airline credit cards allow you to purchase premium movies or get a free drink just by showing your card.  Make sure you understand all of the additional benefits available so you can say goodbye to checked bag fees forever.   

And let’s not forget travel credits! Elite travel credit cards even offer $250-400 in credits for any fees you might make including change flight fees, Trusted Traveler application fees, and other associated fees.

NerdWallet has researched cards with the best travel perks and bonuses. See their list of The Best Travel Credit Cards of 2017 here.


Extended Warranties

If you’re anything like us, you break everything. Some credit cards offer extended warranties on purchases no questions asked. If your luggage didn’t make it through that last trip or your phone somehow ended up taking a bath, you’re covered. Read the fine print carefully to make sure you are getting the most of your warranty coverage and you can always call your credit card company before making a purchase to fully understand what is covered and how.


And of course… The Points

Travel reward credit cards are great because you can earn more points from your purchases to use on hotels, airlines, experiences and more! Make sure you read our article on what to look for when selecting a travel rewards credit card here

Travel rewards credit cards, this way.


Bottom Line

Choosing a travel rewards credit card offers way more than just travel perks.

Don’t know where to start? NerdWallet can give you a free, personalized recommendation. 

By NerdWallet

NerdWallet offers tools and objective advice to help you understand your options and make the best possible financial decisions. Our consumer-first work and content have been featured in publications like Forbes and The New York Times. When it comes to choosing a credit card, nothing beats knowing you have the best.